Day 401: “Transable” My Ass

So there is a condition called Body Integrity Identity Disorder wherein a physically healthy person feels compelled to damage themselves until they become disabled. Some try to amputate their own limbs. Some do severe damage to the limbs in hopes of forcing an amputation. Sone has created accidents or thrown themselves off buildings in hopes of achieving permanent paralysis. Someone has even coined the term transable and people with the disorder view it as similar to being transgender. As a person who has been physically disabled from birth and who is an ally of the transgender community, this makes my blood boil.Every time  I think about it I get angry, like Hulk smash kind of angry. How dare you toss away the good fortune that chance saw fit to give you, how fucking dare you?  I have tried to find empathy for you but I  just can’t  find any, no matter how hard I try. When you look at my life you often see the kindness of strangers. You chase after that kindness because it’s lacking in your everyday lives, I get it. What you can’t see is the struggle, the pain, mental and physical.

You can’t see the pills I take every morning behind my public smile. You don’t see the isolation. When you are disabled it can sometimes feel like you are inside an invisible bubble. The bubble is insidious, you may not even see it at first.  As a kid, it’s the sleepovers you aren’t invited to. It’s the monkey bars you can’t cross. It’s your parents asking if you can come to your younger sister’s friend’s birthday party because no one invites you to parties. It’s no one coming to your birthday party.

When you are a teenager you are the only one in the neighborhood without a learner’s permit and a crappy minimum wage job in food service or retail. Your folks tell you to be glad you have more time to focus on school, as if that’s supposed to be any consolation, it isn’t.

As an adult, you watch online conversation grind to a halt when the words “disability” or “wheelchair” get mentioned. Your boyfriend is mistaken for the brother you don’t have.  The same boyfriend gets weird looks for helping you to the bathroom in public. It would be neglect if he let you have an accident though. People are surprised to find out that you want kids, indeed that you have a sex drive at all.

These are just snippets of my life and believe it or not I’m not trying to complain. I’m simply showing you the side of the coin you probably haven’t seen. Stop equating yourself to trans people, you are nothing like them. Their desire to change themselves doesn’t force others into the role of caretakers. People who are born disabled or who are victims of unplanned accidents didn’t ask for this to happen. Deliberately debilitating yourself and expecting others to care for you looks more like Munchausen Syndrome and should be treated as such.


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